During our last few days in Colorado before we met up with friends for a wedding near Denver, we explored Rocky Mountain National Park and then camped in Poudre Canyon (that’s pronounced POO-DER) (that’s right, best name ever).
RMNP is amazing. I think I enjoyed it more than driving up Pike’s Peak. But that could just be because the drive up Pike’s Peak is terrifyingggggg and the drive up into the mountains of RMNP is a little tamer but not at all less breathtaking. I couldn’t get over how much snow was up there. So much!!! There were people hiking up and skiing down. They had just barely opened the road for the summer and I could tell why, snow drifts on both sides of the roads! We ate our lunch at a picnic table in the middle of the snow, it was amazing.
We saw pikas and bighorn sheep and coyote and a giant elk that I feverishly pulled off the road to take pictures of.
I can’t explain how much I enjoyed RMNP and I wish we’d had more than one day to explore. Pictures do not do it justice.
I had really wanted to get a hike in while we were in RMNP but the timing wasn’t going to work out, so I found a hike just outside the park that looked good. It was located at the Lumpy Ridge trailhead….another great name!!! We didn’t have a ton of time as we had to get to our campsite about 2 hours away in the Poudre, set up, and then find a place to watch game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. So, we set out for a quick 1.5 mile hike.
It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Some elevation gain, mostly in the beginning of the hike, and gorgeous views of the mountains we had just been exploring in RMNP. We saw a couple other hikers but for the most part we had it to ourselves which was really nice.
After that quick hike we booked it to our campsite to set up in the rain, before making a quick fire and then dinner, and then over to the amazing Mishawaka, a bar/restaurant/music venue directly on the Poudre River, where we were able to watch the hockey game. The bar tender and other patrons were, in true Colorado style, amazingly nice and we all cheered on the Capitals to a win!
A special shout out to our my friend Stephanie who recommended both the Poudre Canyon and The Mishawaka. It was one of our favorite parts of the trip!!